By Natalia Sofía Vindas Gutiérrez - Student of English Teaching and Translation
Art is one of the most wonderful activities that one can employ for self-discovery, stress decrease, and increases perspective (Alban, n.d.). However, art does not only represent a therapeutic activity but a cognitive development imperative factor. Yet, there is still schools that do not provide enough spaces for art to have prominence. Not to mention, it has a positive impact in the acquisition of languages. Therefore, why if it has been proven to be a determinant field to apply in language acquisition it is often overlooked? It might be due to the stereotypes surrounding art, cultural shock, or personal upbringing. (Isenberg & Jalong, 2018).
While accompanied by other English teaching methods, art completely rounds the curricula. As it was mentioned, art is a cognitive discipline imperative in children's language development because it is essential for self-expression which makes production easier, acting arts allow children to be focused on performing that allows them to produce language naturally, also is a social activity that allows kids to establish natural conversations with peers.
In addition, creativity has been defined as the ability to express ideas with innovation, trying to create considering what has never been done before (Mincemoyer, 2016). When children are creating art, they are extremely focus in creating new pieces, in doing so, subconsciously they are developing their abstract and high order reasoning skills. Which is a determinant skill in languages. For instance, the child will be able to understand complex questions, produce creative sentences, and not just speak the language but interpret the language. At the same time, when teachers implement art activities in the English curriculum, there is a constant assimilation of vocabulary. It starts from understanding instructions, then the student asks for the name of the colors, even technical vocabulary linked to the different types of art. Also, it encourages problem solving skills when art was not what they expected. They need this ability to solve their deficiencies within the language.
English, as any other language, involves being in constant communication since the student must find accurate words to express their ideas. When someone is learning a foreign language, it is more difficult to do it successfully. Usually, the student does not have enough vocabulary. Art improves vocabulary, whether children are encouraged to play instruments, create digital illustrations, elaborate crafts, or paint. It boosts the child’s communication skills (Talarico, 2018). Thus, in preparing artistic activities, collaboration can be used as a tool for developing language. Furthermore, it helps the student to learn vocabulary quicker, if the kid is used to visual arts, it will be easier to assimilate graphics.
Likewise, art is an emotional regulator. Ergo, it can be utilized to develop essential skills for self-regulation, intrinsic with language processing skills. When the child achieves a good artistic piece, their self-esteem grows (Fancourt, 2019), that way students learn to channel their emotions through the activity. In the same way, the kid will be more comfortable establishing relationships with their classmates, so they can collaborate in different language tasks. Consequently, kids establish conversations applying more language structures.
In conclusion, art has always been a leisure and creative activity. But also, a determinant cognitive developer. Especially in the early childhood, it is important to implement several types of art in the language curriculum. This will ensure the child’s abstract thinking skills, which will help them interpret the language broadly. It will improve, immensely, the child’s communicative skills through new vocabulary and collaboration. Lastly it regulates the emotions that can interfere with an adequate acquisition of the language. We must change our thinking towards art and give it the place it deserves in the development of young children.